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Things We Learned: Notre Dame’s seniors set a ‘foundation’ for Freeman’s tenure, prove it with Boston College rout Highlights: Notre Dame 44, Boston College 0 — A ‘fun’ shutout in the snow Blizzard of turnovers, strong Notre Dame run game plow through Boston College No. 18 Notre Dame vs Boston College: TV, Time, Preview & Predictions How to watch Notre Dame vs Boston College today on NBC

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“Sustainable” may not be the first word that comes to mind to describe the Notre Dame veterans and fifth year veterans, a group of players who have won 28 consecutive regular season games against ACC rivals, won 29-3 at home and never won less than 10 games in a season. They had a lot of success, including a 44-0 thrashing of Boston College on Saturday, which was not a frequent adversity.

However, it was the adjective of an Irish head coach. Marcus Freeman used to describe his 8-3 team, which has won eight of nine games so far, including the last five, averaging 40 points per game in those five.

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“We have a stable group of leaders,” Freeman said. “… This university attracts resilient people. If you are not a persistent person, you will not be able to cope here. This is what I have learned in my short time here. This place weeds out unstable people.

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“This is a university, it even happens in the football program. If you are not a cheerful and uncompromising person, perhaps at some point this place is not for you. You say, hey, I’m going to go somewhere else. That’s what attracts this place, persistent people.”

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Freeman almost certainly didn’t cut any past Notre Dame players, but praised a team that took the cold and a few inches of snow to finally knock the Eagles (3-8) off the field, 44-0. Players who missed this Senior Day holiday because they entered the transfer portal earlier this season or in past years have duly taken advantage of the change in eligibility rules, their career upgrades or promotions in the future. However, they were not part of the celebration, 25 players found out before the start of the match.

except for the player Jay Bramblett at LSU, none of these outgoing transfers are having a better season than the Irish, and certainly not better. Their seasons may not have had a valley like the loss to Marshall and Stanford at home, but these falls have only made that surge more rewarding.

“The ability to handle ups and downs is what makes a person, what makes a team, what makes life,” Freeman said. “… How you respond to them really defines the future. This is the challenge I always have for these guys. It will never be the way you envision at the front end.”

The start of the Notre Dame season may have foreseen something similar to this final result, a 10-2 or 9-3 season, but not along this “bumpy road” to use Freeman’s phrase taken from a past sermon.

At least from the outside it could be foreseen. More was expected within the program. senior defender Isaiah Fosky repeatedly said “national championship” when he first discussed a comeback this season. It’s clear he won’t, but Fosky set an Irish career sack record on Saturday, his last home game before a certain NFL surge.

“He didn’t win the national championship here, but what he did for this program and what those adults did for this program will cause us to win the national championship here in the near future.” Freeman said.

“I told these guys last night, at our last meeting, their senior meeting, thank you because they built the foundation. They really laid the foundation for what’s to come.”

Ground attack, reliable defense and adventurous special groups became such a basis this season. Whether the Irish upset USC on Saturday (7:30 AM ET; ABC) or not – Notre Dame is a 5.5 point underdog as of early Monday morning, line opening Sunday afternoon at +6.0, this basis will not change.

Whereas Freeman’s “bumpy road” involved something of a reload when going from Brian KellyIn his 12 years in office, this foundation bears a strong resemblance to Kelly’s best teams in the second half of his Irish career. In 2017 and 2018, Notre Dame immersed itself in the ground game to such an extent that it ran a short Heisman campaign and was top-10 selected twice in the 2018 NFL Draft. The do-it-all midfielders were leading the defence, their underestimated effectiveness quietly coinciding with a stealthy Irish passing that depended on receivers more like tight ends than deep threats.

There will be trouble again in 2023, especially with veterans like Fosky, Year 5 linebacker Bo Bauer, Year 6 wide receiver. Avery Davis and a fifth year left back Jarrett Patterson end career at Notre Dame. Such was the order in which the four captains appeared before Saturday’s start, with Patterson being the last senior to hug Freeman before wrapping up the home table.

“It goes back to leadership,” Freeman said. “Those seniors, those guys who are captains, they could easily start blaming and complaining and pointing fingers. Those guys looked at themselves and said, we’re going to work. They dragged everyone along.”

But the foundation laid in 2022 and cemented in the snowy debacle of Boston College must remain strong in 2023.

The Eagles’ transformation into a historic footnote on Saturday stood out given how poorly the Irish have played as heavy favorites at home this season. Reversing that trend may have been the final step needed to get Freeman’s debut campaign 180 degrees away from those Marshall and Stanford losses.

“Great teams are capable of playing at a standard level,” Freeman said. “Great people are able to meet the standard, not the rival. Competitors really collide – they rise to the level of their rival, but for me, great teams, championship teams, they set the standard and say that’s how we will work.

Regardless of the result in Los Angeles, short of a score like last Saturday, Notre Dame proved that standard with their fifth straight win and at the same time confirmed Freeman’s seasonal calm, his tenure now stands on a firmer footing. foundation.

The Minnesota native laughed at the cold as he recalled playing in eighth grade when the wind was 0 degrees. The Louisiana native grimaced as he said twice, “It was cold, it was cold,” before adding that the weather was “doable,” as if it wasn’t obvious in that No. 18’s Notre Dame beat Boston College 44-0 at Saturday.

Would it be too trite to say that the Irish ground game hit the Eagles like an avalanche in the first half before it actually snowed after halftime? There are supposedly about 180 words for snow in Scandinavian countries – more than three times the actual number in Eskimo languages ​​- but a more appropriate number associated with snow on Saturday was 214, as was Notre Dame’s first half at 22 carry.

When a six-inch snowfall that hit South Bend on Saturday clouded all sight and reduced much of post-break traction, the fate of Boston College was already buried under that avalanche, a 37-0 halftime deficit larger than the Eagles’ (3-8 ). able to beat even the FCS team in September, not to mention the Irish (8-3) as they come into shape expected in September.

An average of 9.73 yards per carry in the first half would be enough. That was more indicative of the Notre Dame rout than anything reduced by 67 yards on 16 rush attempts in the second half, and the score and snowfall ruled out any version of active aggression from the competition.

“Every week we’re challenged to run the ball,” sophomore left tackle. Joe Alt said. “Being able to go out and put on a number like that for our seniors, especially our senior linemen, to send them off the right foot into Notre Dame, it was so much fun for us as a group.”

You could believe Alt, from suburban Minneapolis, found the 25-degree afternoon heat and heavy snowfall to be “fun.” It was still a little hard to trust him or anyone else’s bare skin hugs that day. Irish attacking line abandons head coach Marcus Freemanrepeated requests to dress for the occasion and generally play sleeveless.

There was nothing surprising in this. The standard that a sixth-year right-back maintains so consistently Josh Lagg and fifth-year left back and two-time captain Jarrett Patterson it is both a mentality and a basics, and this mentality will never allow a seeming display of weakness due to wearing long sleeves. Irrational? Perhaps, but not surprisingly.

“For us linemen, it will never be sleeves,” Alt said. “… It is also a way of thinking. It will be cold, everyone is cold. You don’t want it to affect your game. The cold will be there, it’s there for everyone, but let’s just put it out of our minds and go play.”

Fair. Not exactly logical, but the focusing and motivating aspect of this cold…



Source: irish.nbcsports.com

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